A few days back I told you about Reseller club hosting summit 2013, which happened at Hyatt, Gurgaon and I was one of the speakers for the Workshop over there. This was my 2nd such workshop, and it was a great learning experience for me. At the workshop, I interacted with many small business owners, who are into online business but still don’t have a blog to promote their business.
In the workshop, I talked about why every small business should integrate a blog with their business, and how to make a strategy and planning for your small business blog. When we started the workshop, it started with 20 people and within 15 minutes of the workshop, the room was packed.
As I told you before in one of my articles, that I follow a presentation strategy, where I use images to deliver my points, and explain them in detail with live examples. The Workshop was full of interactive and like-minded people, and I happened to learn a lot from people queries.
Here are some of the images from the workshop:
Overall, the Workshop was quite a learning experience for me, and it was a great way to connect with people in the offline world and understand some of the biggest challenges small businesses are facing with their business promotion. I have already shared a detailed small business blog strategy which you can use as a starting point for your business blog. You can have a look at my presentation on how and why to integrate a blog with your business, below.
Presentation: Integrating Blog with Small business
You can use this presentation as a reference point for your small business blog, and below I have explained the pointers in details:
What Online businesses are doing?
The biggest challenge with online businesses now is to get more targeted customers without spending a lot on advertising. Most of the small businesses these days usually create a few page websites, spend money on advertising to get more leads. This strategy is useful but it doesn’t work for long when you are starting with a limited budget. As soon as these SMB’s stop putting money on advertising, they stop getting new customers and leads.
Why you need a blog?
In this section, I explained the benefits of integrating the blog with your website. How it will be one cost-effective solution for the long run, and how this will help you to get targeted leads to your business website.
Here are some of the direct benefits of integrating a blog with your business website:
- Search engine benefits
- Content for your Social media channels and more social media engagement
- Help you to create an authority in your niche.
- Engage with your audience.
- Which in turn converts into more sales and hence more money for your business.
How to create a blog for your business:
The first thing which you need to do is, set the goals for your business. Why are you integrating blog? For more sales, or to get more Email subscribers, or to create brand-authority or for any other reasons. Once you write your blogging goals, it will help you at content planning stage & in the future.
- Read: How to set Goals for your blog to Achieve Success
- How to write a simple Blog business plan in 9 easy steps
There are many blogging platforms, but nothing beats WordPress for your blogging need.
Your blog design is the first thing which creates an impression of your brand. You can get a custom design which matches your overall brand-style or use a simple minimalistic design. Do remember, the most important thing for a business blog design is simplicity. You don’t need lots of widgets or items around your blog, just follow the simple formula of K.I.S.S. I recommend to check out themes by Genesis, as they look professional and they are well-coded.
One of the most important elements of your business blog is the subscription box. Here are some of the must have subscription option, which every business blog should have.
Content planning is one of the areas where every small business should spend most of the time. I prefer using a normal excel sheet, which can be used to create a complete content plan for your business. Here are two things which you should ask yourself before making the content plans:
- Who is your target audience?
- What problem your product/service is solving?
I took an example of Giveaway.ly, as I was helping their team to create a content plan. Here is one simple example from Giveaway.ly content planning:
- Target Audience: Marketers-advertisers and Bloggers.
- The problem this product solves:
- For Marketers – Branding, Social media following, Product marketing, Blogger outreach.
- For Bloggers: Readers engagement, Make money from the blog, Blog traffic.
Similarly, you can start from here, and once you know your target audience and the kind of problem your product is solving, you can easily structure your content based on that. I also showed an example of SEMRUSH tool, how it will help you to quickly do the Keyword research by analysing your competitor website. Small businesses can take advantage of this 14 days free trial account of SEMRush to start with SEMRush.
One of the important aspects of business blogging is targeted blogging. For this purpose, it’s a good idea to decide categories from day one. Here is an example category format for any small business blog:
- Company Announcement (Culture, Case-studies, Upgrades)
- How to use Product (your product/service)
- Category 1
- Category 2
- Category 3
- Category 4
Read: Understand creating categories for your Blog – How to Use Tags on your blog
Type of content you should publish on your business blog
Quality of the content should be the topmost priority for any business blog. Do remember, blog content is different from normal website content, as it should be meaningful and engaging. Do remember, your post needs to have a target and call to action at the end. Here are key points for the type of content for your business blog:
- Viral content/ Roundup (Ex: Top 101, best resources)
- Your vision/Company announcements/ Culture
- Interview Industry leaders
- Provide a solution
What good content consists of
- Structure (Formatting)
- Value and readability
- Visuals (Use images, videos, slides)
Where to get content for your blog
- You: Since you know your business in the best possible ways, you should start writing. You can work on writing a rouge draft, and hire an Editor to format and publish it on your blog.
- Your team: Your team is the next most valuable resource to provide content for your business blog.
- Hire Writers: You can take advantage of sites like UpWork to hire niche writers to write content for your blog.
- Invite guest authors: This strategy will work when you have created an authority and brand value. You can invite other experts in your niche to guest post on your blog.
Important things to keep in mind
- Maintain a proper schedule.
- Consistency is the key to success.
- Have Call to action at the end of the blog post.
- Author bio is useful for connecting with your readers.
- Make sure your blog is search engine friendly. Work on On-site and on page SEO.
Important Ranking factor
- Your Blog loading time.
- Google Authorship.
- Readability and usage of LSI Keywords.
- Length of your article.
- Social signals.
- Site authority.
Here are a few articles which you should refer to before launching your business blog:
- How to make your business blog effective
- 9 quick and substantial blog post ideas for business blog
I wanted to cover many more things here, but due to limited time, I wrapped up the presentation in 40 minutes, and we spent the last 20 minutes discussing various aspects and taking attendees queries. In fact, we completely lost the track of time, and after the workshop, I was busy for another hour answering queries outside the workshop room.
I will be doing more such seminars and workshop in the coming days. Don’t forget to subscribe to ShoutMeLoud newsletter for receiving updates .